Metascore
85

Generally favorable reviews - based on 42 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 38 out of 42
  2. Negative: 0 out of 42
  1. With its large expansive game play and large battles around every corner. The game is hard so don't expect to beat it down with out at least sending your Gamecube into orbit at least once.
  2. We liked the way the game's basic rules followed logical principles, but these elements quickly built into complex situations.
  3. In every important aspect, Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance reaches a strategic peak that other games in the genre only dream of achieving. Every item, every action, every decision leads to logical consequences in rather difficult battle situations.
  4. The battle system and story are the bread and butter of the game, and they are executed flawlessly. Intelligent Systems has created a masterpiece with Path of Radiance. It sets a new standard for Fire Emblem as the title that future games in the series will be tested by. [Nov 2005, p.110]
  5. This game is difficult, even on the easiest setting. For those who have been craving a difficult game ever since the GBA titles held off, "Maniac" mode is waiting and it is positively brutal. [JPN Import]
  6. 92
    Yet another remarkable production by the skilled developers at Intelligent Systems. The series finally returns to the console realm, and its radiance should incite anyone to do one thing: cross the path, and never look back.
  7. As good a turn-based strategy game as you could hope to expect, with a cracking story. [GamesMaster]
  8. If you're looking for that epic game to ease your wait until "Zelda" finally makes it out, this is the perfect game to suck away hours of your time.
  9. Path of Radiance radiates with the same wonderful, addictive qualities as the GBA originals. The massive, lengthy battles of the past have been greatly expanded, increasing the length and difficulty that you'll have to endure.
  10. Yet another exquisitely crafter offering from arguably the most talented developer working in the genre. [Nov 2005, p.162]
  11. A shining testament to the fact that a game doesn't need to be flashy or genre-redefining as long as the gameplay and storyline are top of the line, which they indeed are in this game.
  12. The campaign mode generally lasts anywhere from 25 to 40 hours.
  13. Achieves something many role-playing strategy games fail at. It provides a fantastically involving adventure strategy for those who live and breath RPG, but also allows those who just want the strategy to ignore the wrapping paper and get straight to the gift.
  14. Aside from its drastic visual differences, nothing was really lost in translation from the GBA to the GCN, but it wouldn't have killed the developers if they had a bit more done with the game.
  15. The story and graphics really impressed me to the point where I couldn't even sleep without dreaming about grids and battle tactics.
  16. It can be absolutely brutal at times, but it is also true to the series' fundamentals, and that alone should ensure acceptance from fans of the series.
  17. 87
    The text-heavy presentation is definitely not for everyone, but the well-tweaked strategy gameplay, long quest (40 hours is not an inflated estimate), challenging missions, and rewarding storyline are worth every penny.
  18. A couple of small tweaks makes the game even better: stronger horse units and better character customisation. The only disappointment are the bland graphics, GameCube could do much better. [Dec 2005]
  19. An incredible, epic journey well worth experiencing by Fire Emblem fans or by anyone who likes role-playing games.
  20. Really does nothing particularly better than its predecessors have done. It is a traditional strategy RPG in almost every way.
  21. Underneath the less than stellar presentation, is a game that pulls off is a complex, tactical, and worthwhile adventure.
  22. The plot is full of fantasy cliches, so you can expect your fair share of dragons and lost princesses and Black Knights.
  23. This may not be an innovative title, but it's an excellent example of developers really nailing a game's design and clearly shows what separates the experts from the amateurs.
  24. While the presentation and lack of innovation may not wow you, you'll be sucked in by just how well judged every element of the gameplay is.
  25. It starts off brilliant, then erodes your enthusiasm over time.
  26. Sure, this game is nowhere near as difficult as its SNES and GBA predecessors, but it still requires all the strategy and thought required to make it great.
  27. Old school RPG is very much alive here, as Fire Emblem charms us with its engaging storyline, uncompromising combat and solid gameplay.
  28. 80
    If you're a fan of strategy games, you'll love Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance. And if you want a game that will bring your GameCube out of retirement, this is the one.
  29. A wonderful addition to fans of the Fire Emblem series. The cut scenes are very cool, the upgrades in animation breathe more life into the characters, and the new character types and stage goals bring some new gameplay elements to the series.
  30. For all of its shortcomings Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance is a solid game that stands on the legs of the series' praised gameplay and an epic story that is not seen in every other video game of its kind, which sadly is an accomplishment these days.
  31. 80
    Still, what Fire Emblem may hack off of your gaming ego in difficulty, it makes up for with good ol' fashioned beauty.
  32. The only flaw is that it didn't go the extra mile -- but with a series of this pedigree, that isn't much to complain about.
  33. 80
    The sheer escapism Fire Emblem offers is nearly impossible to downplay, but it's difficult not to be judgmental of the game's four-years-ago presentation.
  34. 80
    Undoubtedly, the worst thing you can say about Path of Radiance is that it's a bit drab in regards to aesthetics.
  35. Luckily, it has that challenging, supremely polished, turn-based gameplay to fall back on. [Jan 2006, p.91]
  36. Fans of S-RPGs will adore this game. When you play a game as in-depth as this you aren't paying too much attention to how pretty the graphics are. That said, Intelligent Systems has had experience with the GameCube previously and there's no excuse for the game looking as bland it does. [JPN Import]
  37. Entertaining and frustratingly challenging at the hard difficulty. Could Nintendo have done more with the series? Absolutely. Is Fire Emblem a fun game? Without question. [JPN Import]
  38. Like a goldfish in a bigger bowl, Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance makes much of its newfound space without actually evolving into a new beast, and that's mostly a good thing. What it lacks in innovation it makes up for in sheer challenge.
  39. Both entertaining and satisfying yet difficult and frustrating in equal measures, if you haven't already fallen out of love with the series or have never played a Fire Emblem game then there's an awful lot to enjoy.
  40. While Path of Radiance is a top notch RPG, it hardly takes advantage of the GameCube at all. The gameplay is identical to the GBA games in the series, the improvement in visuals isn't very impressive, and there's little to no voice work.
  41. Unlike other games of this ilk, there's no movie presentation - you're never fooled into thinking you are taking part in anything other than a videogame.
User Score
9.1

Universal acclaim- based on 86 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 36 out of 38
  2. Negative: 1 out of 38
  1. Nov 10, 2011
    10
    Awesome, but mainly trying to balance out the stupid 0/10 for not being a handheld. The game reintroduces aspects from sacred war (abilities). The maps are great. The characters are very lovable. Full Review »
  2. Sep 9, 2013
    5
    Now and then I get the urge to play an older game for nostalgia and to see what I missed back in the day. So this review is from 2013, but I'm trying to think with a mind of the past to be fair.

    When compared to other games in the genre, I feel PoR is more linear, less customizable and less complex than other grid TRPGS(tactical role-playing games), like say Final Fantasy Tactics or Disgaea. It's by no means a bad game, but it is rather simple and straightforward.

    For a novice to the genre, it's probably a good starter. For veterans of the genre, I would pass this one over unless you're just completely out of unplayed TRPGs.
    Full Review »
  3. Jan 11, 2011
    10
    i loved all three gba games, and at first i hated this game due to the slow and uninspired battle animations. after giving it a second chance 5 years after its release i actually really like the game. the animations are still poor, so i turned them off which speeds the game up and makes it more enjoyable in most situations, although ikes aether animation is sweet! i found th game just as good as the other three ive played, although i didnt particularly like the addition of animal units, they dont evolve and are just abit boring in comparison to human units, so i didnt really use them. overall a really nice game, and worth the expensive price now adays, i payed £30 for it, and i dont regret it :) Full Review »